Rival plan to entice store giant

By Emily Pearce

Saturday, December 29, 2012


JUST weeks after supermarket giant Asda lodged long-awaited plans for a new store, the owner of Newport Football Club’s ground has stepped forward with a rival proposal.

South Coast Leisure (SCL), which bought the club from administrators eight years ago and has since spent some £600,000 keeping it afloat, hopes to entice Asda to its neighbouring site, also off St George’s Way, and use some of the proceeds to relocate the club to a new home.

It is due to submit an alternative planning application to the IW Council in the new year.

SCL spokesman Steve Carey said the company’s proposal was superior because it would enable Asda to build a bigger store, using the extra two acres of available space, with 170 more parking spaces.

It would also provide easier access for cyclists and pedestrians and eliminate the need to realign the Pan access road.

"Both sites would provide for Asda’s store but we believe our site would give a better shopping experience, is superior in planning terms, will look better and integrates more closely with the town centre," he said.

Asda could not be reached for a comment due to the Christmas holiday.

As previously reported, the supermarket giant’s current plans for a 45,000 sq ft superstore include a petrol station and cafe, as well as green technology and a landscaping plan to reduce its impact on the environment.

Up to 450 jobs are expected to be created at the superstore, with many more likely during its construction.

The site of SCL’s proposal includes land owned by the IW Council, already approved for the development, and Newport FC’s St George’s Park ground.

SCL, a private company owned by Island business people headed by Tony Wake, owner of the former Wake’s carpet superstore, has pledged to use £1m from the sale of its land to Asda to relocate the football club to a new site in the town, with facilities that could be shared by the community.

Since buying the site, SCL had been in the discussion with the council about finding a long-term home for the club, said Mr Carey.

Newport FC chairman Paul Phelps welcomed the news, and said a new ground would help its chances of promotion.

"The best thing would be to stay where we are, because it’s the club’s home, but we have to move with the times and we are excited about moving to a new ground in Newport area.

"The prospect of financial support to help us move to a new permanent ground would give the club a new lease of life," he said.

"How happy the fans are about it depends on how far they have to travel. As long as it’s in Newport I don’t think it will be a problem."

Three possible sites had been suggested for the club’s new ground but nothing had yet been agreed.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk


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1st January 2013, at 23:40:38


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by alan phillips

30th December 2012, at 17:38:39

Ming Hwang you are correct, the "only" asset the club owns now is the clubs name, yet it's so much more than that. The club can still be the starting point for a youngster to have a career in football. The club since being returned to Islanders ownership has always had the local community as its driving force, with players playing at the highest level for the love of Island football. They deserve this mention as in an era where money is viewed as king, our club is doing so well, with players who don't get paid. They have a great opportunity in taking a step closer to Wembley when they play Brighouse Town in the minnows version of the FA Cup, namely the FA Vase. Local support would be a welcome boost to club that is active in supporting youth football, giving them a chance to do something useful with their time. Whatever the outcome of this planning issue, your local club will continue to be Islands premier club & look to continuing for another 125 yrs, with its suppo

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by Ming Hwang

30th December 2012, at 10:23:18

James, don't forget that Tony Wake doesn't own Newport Football Club, they only own the ground. According to Wiki, The Supporter's Trust own the Football Club and they make the decisions on the future of the club. I agree with your comments though.

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by James Reed

29th December 2012, at 14:24:44

Not many people manage to make money out of a football club these days, but it looks like Tony Wake and his cronies are set to make a tidy buck out of this one. The 600k spent "keeping it a float" has been purely to protect this investment opportunity.

Yet a again, as it was under Bill Manual the club is been sold down the river Medina. Why dont these land owners invest in the club instead of its assets? Because they're not football fans first!

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by Graeme Egerton

29th December 2012, at 13:39:29

Oops, I half agree with Liam, should have read his post properly :)

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by Graeme Egerton

29th December 2012, at 13:37:12

I'm lost, I thought that was the plan all along anyway? I agree, just build what's planned, don't start dragging it out.

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by Liam Thom

29th December 2012, at 13:31:34

How about the club stays where it is and Asda keeps away then everybody will be happy.

We don't need another supermarket. And we certainly don't need a football stadium built on green field land.

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by Stephen Elliott

29th December 2012, at 12:05:11

I'm a multi-millionaire and looking for investment opportunities, why hasn't this SCL Ltd spoke to me?

Oh I forgot, I'm not an islander and not in the same club as local people, "this is a local shop, for local people"!!!

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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